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US: Florence, SC – Go Nuts for Pecans in Florence and Snag some Free Swag

April is National Pecan month so why not celebrate by following a culinary trail dedicated to the pecan.

Julie Belle's - White Russian Pecan PieFlorence is home to the South Carolina Pecan Trail, showcasing 17 local restaurants and specialty shops offering pecan dishes or products, putting pecans in the spotlight. From pecan-encrusted grouper to pecan pie martinis, those venturing on the trail will experience a variety of originality.Rebel Pie - Danish Pizza

Pick up a passport at the visitors center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, or any of the participating restaurants to start the journey. Earn a stamp in the passport by feasting on the featured pecan item at each establishment.

Pecan Pie Martini - Victors

Return your passport to the Visitors Center in person or by mail for some sweet Pecan Trail swag. Show up with four stamps, and receive a charming metal nutcracker. Eight stamps will get you a drawstring bag and the nutcracker. Present a fully stamped passport and  walk away with a T-shirt, drawstring bag and the nutcracker. SC Pecan Trail

 

Get your stamps and enjoy tasty pecan offerings at these restaurants and specialty shops:

Block and Vino: Seasonal praline pecan cheesecake; candied pecan brie-stuffed chicken

Clay Pot Coffee Shop: Signature BIG cookie: Southern Maple Pecan Oatmeal Cookie

Dolce Vita: Double chocolate chip pecan muffin

Freeman’s Bakery: Assortment of baked goods, including cakes, Danish pastries

Julian Belle’s: White Russian pecan pie

The Library: Bourbon pecan pie

Rebel Pie Wood-fired Pizza: Danish pizza

Red Bone Alley: Chicken salad with pecans; apple crisp; chocolate chip cookie pie

Seminar Brewing: Pecans Gone Wild smoked brown ale

Struttin’ Turkey: Turkey salad with cranberries and pecans

Top Hat Special-Teas: Top Hat Pecan Scones

Town Hall: Braised oxtail ravioli, local sweet potato puree, espelette-spiced pecans and sage oil

Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish Co.: Sweet potato cheesecake

Venus Restaurant and Catering: Pecan (Belgian) waffle, Southern pecan pancakes

Victors: Pecan pie martini

Wholly Smokin’: Goat cheese salad, features warm goat cheese patty encrusted with local pecans

Young Plantations: Variety of flavored pecans

Location: Visitor Information Center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, Florence Center Upper Level, Florence, SC 29501
Time: Daily 9am – 5pm
Tel: 800-325-9005
visitflo.com

US: Orono, ME – Local Family Restaurant with Great Food, Great Prices…a Great Time

College students know pizza; a staple for them while living on or off campus. Over the years, this landmark for pizza in Maine, Pat’s Pizza,  has become a favorite of University of Maine students offering delicious and affordable pizzas that won’t disappoint. In fact, with deep roots in the community, it has been said that an education at the University is not complete without a Pat’s Pizza.Pizza2017-11-15_15-11-52

Opened in 1931, and still churning out 700 pizzas a night, this 2nd generation family business (now with 19 locations) is famous in Maine. Step into over 50 years of history with this old time pizzeria, at their original location, with its original Formica counters and slate foot rests.

The thin, soft, light crust melts in your mouth, and the toppings are put on evenly so that there’s a taste in every bite. Made with freshest ingredients, 35 toppings like: specially made pepperoni, pine nuts, hot dog, kielbasa, zesty olives or eggplant, there is a pizza just for you! They even make gluten-free pizzas or double -dough pizzas.

The Pat’s Combo is the most popular pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, and Cotto salami on it. Not to mention the mouth-watering calzones, spaghetti and meatballs, sub sandwiches, wraps, salads and a Maine favorite red skin hot dogs too. Wash it down with Pat’s own brand of sodas: strawberry, root beer, orange, grape, cream or Stan and Sandra’s favorite – raspberry Lime Rickey, or try the local Moxie brand, made in Maine.

Buon appetito!

Location: 11 Mill Street, Orono, ME 04473
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 12am, Sat-Sun 7am – 1am
Tel: 207-866-2111
patspizzaorono.com/
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitbangormaine.com

US FL: The Future of US dining is here

Exit 339: Latitude 30 – If you just couldn’t decide what to do tonight, should I go out to a restaurant, grab a pizza, go bowling, watch a movie, take the kids to an arcade, catch a sporting event, or enjoy a comedy show, you don’t have to choose – head here. You can dine deliciously in the restaurant, for food comes first here, or in any of the above while you enjoy your entertainment.

Noise level is high so babies can cry and the kids don’t have to be quiet or sit still while you finish eating – this is the future of family dining. The sports theater sports 19 screens, the pizza chef is stretching and tossing dough by the brick oven, the cocktail area is buzzing, the arcade is dinging (prizes right up to an iPad), bowling balls are crashing in the 20 lanes (comfy couches) while their 9 screens are showing sporting events so you don’t miss anything (football AND bowling) or you can escape into one of the 2 movie theaters. If that wasn’t enough action, there’s live music Thurs-Sat nights.

You can just sit and watch it all while you have a tiramisu martini (or 40 brands of beer) and then chow into: a prime rib kabob with creamy horse radish sauce, quesadilla, lettuce wrapped Asian chicken in peanut ginger sauce, sesame crusted teriyaki calamari with citrus wasabi aioli, steak and blue cheese in flat bread, shrimp po’ boy, chicken salad with cherries and pecans, blackened mahi mahi or build your own burger.

Dinner entree salads can be made with flat iron steak or blackened ahi, there’s a chopped cobb salad, lobster mac ‘n cheese, veal pot roast, Guinness fish and chips, bacon wrapped scallops and we loved the homemade potato chips. Southern red velvet cake and bread pudding can finish it off for you. You will need to take advantage of the free valet parking, the lot is packed.

Location: 10370 Phillips Highway, Jacksonville FL, USA
Tel:  904-365-5555
www.latitude-30.com

Quebec: Parc Safari is a Good Deal and A Good Deal of Fun

Parc Safari has something for everyone in your family. It is wayyyy beyond a drive around to see exotic animals, though that is an amazing part of the day. The water park, with its three lagoons (one with a waterfall), tube ride, and especially the new sculpturally beautiful splash pad/slide Lagon des dauphins, can be a whole day in itself. This new area offers up 8 water slides and 60 water games.  Here’s a tip: if you go there, keep your eye on the yellow pail of water.

Besides the safari drive, you can walk around three animal areas. We’re talking 500 animals, folks, in about 60 different species: elephant, bison, deer, camel, tiger, lion, water buffalo, yak, zebra, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, wildebeest, eland, black bear, monkeys, etc.  You can find great scrabble words as you come across the oryx, addax, gaur and onager.  Learning about the animals is fascinating:  giraffes only sleep 20 min a day, swan couples mate for life,  zebras are black with white stripes  (finally found that out!) and Shaka the lion is a movie star, having appeared in the film “The Aviator” with Leonardo DiCaprio.

There is no way you cannot be wowed by the lion and tiger clear glass tunnels which you walk through and are separated by a mere 3 cm.  from these beautiful beasts. Have you ever gone eye-to-eye with a giraffe? Well you can do that here too.

A lovely part about Parc Safari is that you hardly have to put your hand in your pocket once you pay to get in ($113.86  for a family of 4, or under $100 with a CAA discount). They allow you to bring your own lunch, and have endless amount of picnic tables in the shade, grass, and even a sandy beach.  The staff in the parc actually give you the food to feed the bears or monkeys, etc.  You can bring your own carrots to feed the safari animals – it’s so much fun to watch as they chew and crunch right in your face.

If you decide to lunch at Parc Safari, besides your burgers, pizza and hot dogs, you can munch chicken burgers, smoked meat, sausages, waffles, fruit smoothies, poutine (mais oui!) and even grab a beer. It costs about $8-$14 for the restaurant meals and $6-$7 in the cafeteria.

For those who like rides, there are still some retro ones that bring huge smiles (and screams) to both young and old. Where else can you spend a day on all the rides you want, as many times as you want for a measly $3 per person? The few extras in the parc are so minimal: a pony ride is only $4, and one on the camel is $6. The tube ride is a mere $2.  If you want to buy a box of animal food, it’s only a tooney.

Especially endearing is the  “custom spray” tilt-a-whirl ride. You do not have to go high tech to make customers happy on a hot day – all you need is a hose. As you get on this ride, a gentleman ask if you would like to get sprayed as you pass him; you can say yes or no, and even ask for a little or a lot. Where else can you select-a-preference-water-factor on a ride?

On a busy day the 45 min safari adventure can take up to 2 hours. This is NOT necessarily a negative. We must learn to slow ourselves down to the pace of nature. If you are inching along, sitting in the comfort of your air-conditioned car, you get to really take the time to watch the animals live and interact.  Babies are being shown what to do by their mommas, bisons are rolling in the dirt to scratch themselves, animals’ chests are rising and falling as they take a siesta, and yes they’re  peeing and pooing too – still a thrill for the kids. You can feed and even touch some of the species as they come up to visit you at your car window.

And we haven’t even gotten to the six stage shows and eight animal feedings or les Filouminous characters who wander around the park giving hugs.  There is so much to do that you can turn this in to a staycation weekend. Look on their site for reasonably priced 1 and 2-day packages, including an overnight in nearby motels or campsites.

Parc Safari is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year so to celebrate they are having a contest with over $8,000 in prizes. You can win a backyard swing set, a safari package, summer camp at the Cosmodome, and gift certificates and passes. You can go online to fill out the form:  www.clikici.ca/ralleye-safari-2012.php

If you haven’t been to Parc Safari since you were a kid, it’s time to go back. The best deal is that if you add $20 to your admission price, you get a season passport.  Divide that all up into many days of fun and it is really pennies to enjoy this entertaining gem right at our doorstep.

Location: 280 Rang Roxham, St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, QC, J0J 1V0
Tel: 450 247-2727
Summer Hours: 10-5 for the safari, 10-7 for the parc  (less hours in Spring and Fall)
www.parcsafari.com

 

Great Food and Amazing Entertainment in Jacksonville, Florida

If you just couldn’t decide what to do tonight, should I go out to a restaurant, grab a pizza, go bowling, watch a movie, take the kids to an arcade, catch a sporting event, or enjoy a comedy show, you don’t have to choose – head for Latitude 30.Bowling

You can dine deliciously in the restaurant, for food comes first here, or in any of the above while you enjoy your entertainment. Noise level is high so babies can cry and the kids don’t have to be quiet or sit still while you finish eating – this is the future of family dining.

The sports theater sports19 screens, the pizza chef is stretching and tossing dough by the brick oven, the cocktail area is buzzing, the arcade is dinging (prizes right up to an iPad), bowling balls are crashing in the 20 lanes (comfy couches) while their 9 screens are showing sporting events so you don’t miss anything (football AND bowling) or you can escape into one of the two movie theaters.pizza

If that wasn’t enough action, there’s live music Thurs-Sat nights. You can just sit and watch it all while you have a tiramisu martini (or 40 brands of beer) and then chow into: a prime rib kabob with creamy horse radish sauce, quesadilla, lettuce wrapped Asian chicken in peanut ginger sauce, sesame crusted teriyaki calamari with citrus wasabi aioli, steak and blue cheese in flat bread, shrimp po’ boy, chicken salad with cherries and pecans, blackened mahi mahi or build your own burger.Arcade

Dinner entree salads can be made with flat iron steak or blackened ahi, there’s a chopped cobb salad, lobster mac n cheese, veal pot roast, Guinness fish and chips, bacon wrapped scallops and we loved the homemade potato chips. Southern red velvet cake and bread pudding can finish it off for you. You will need to take advantage of the free valet parking, the lot is packed.

Location: 10370 Phillips Highway
Tel: 904-365-5555
www.latitude-30.com

Outside